samedi 27 juin 2020


A female purple emperor, I couldn t get a photo of the male which is Purple

 A rare sighting of a pair of Egyptian Vultures over Camp Faba here in Aleu

mardi 23 juin 2020

Hay making

It's been a wet June, but that has made the grass grow. Good weather since the weekend meant it was time once again for making hay. With our finger mower and baler dating from the late 1950's, it's always a fraught time trying to get everything to work. This year after changing the cutters on the Busatis mower all went reasonable well. The tedder worked without a problem, then we spent a 2-3 hours raking the hay into winrows (we don't have an andaineur). Then out rolled the baler which worked marvelously last summer. This year it just refused to work. As per normal the knotters wouldn't knot. I spent all afternoon fiddling but without success.

This morning armed with various manuals and advice, I sharpened the cutters, synchronised the needles with the knotters and adjusted the wipers and hey presto it worked again. The bales weren't very dense but I dared not change anything. I had already had to fluff up all the winrows which were damp with the overnight dew! Susie had dance class so I was baling single handed and failed to notice that 40 bales had passed with only one of the bobbins had run out! All the bales had to be broken apart and rebaled.

A hastily put together extension to our trailer doubled its capacity and 7 trips later the barn is full for the winter. There's still another 50 or so bales in the field but at 9.30 we'd had enough. Should be hot enough tomorrow to dry the dew out of those bales....I ll find somewhere to store them.

samedi 13 juin 2020

Gerac, Turguilla, Rabaserre

A break in the rainy unsettled weather allowed another hastily arranged walk in the mountains with Sheri and Michiel. Despite the sunny appearance of the weather in the photos an icy wind was blowing a hoolie and it was both bitterly cold in the morning and sometimes difficult to keep your balance.

Pointe de Rabaserre (left) and Pointe de Hillette (right)

At the cabane de Tuguilla we took refuge from the wind for an early lunch and discuss the onward route options. We decided to head up to the Etang de Reglisse and then the col on the west ridge of Pointe de Rabaserre, as this looked like it would be more sheltered from the wind.

Etang de Rabaserre

A few hundred meters below the col the fresh snow appeared and Sheri and Susie decided to cal it a day. 

Michiel and I pressed on to the col which was decidedly delicate as some 20cm of fresh snow had covered the patchwork of huge boulders and old névé with a seemingly continuous snowfield but this disguised deep holes and weak snow bridges. Mostly we managed to stick to the edges. Below the col there was a small patch of steep grass covered in melting snow and this was perhaps the trickiest bit to cross as a slip would have nasty consequences! Inhte end all passed without incident and at the col we were greated with the icy wind and marvrllous view to Certescan and Montabone.